RH Bryce Elder gets the nod for Braves in Game 3 of NLDS vs Phillies

Wed, Oct 11, 2023
MLB News (AP)

RH Bryce Elder gets the nod for Braves in Game 3 of NLDS vs Phillies

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Atlanta Braves picked right-hander Bryce Elder to start Game 3 of the NL Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.

Elder (12-4, 3.81) struggled down the stretch after pitching a career-high 174 2/3 innings in his first full season in the big leagues. But the Braves decided he was the best choice to face Philadelphia's Aaron Nola (12-9, 4.46).

Elder, who was sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett during spring training, was a surprising success over the first half of the season after being recalled to Atlanta. He was chosen for the All-Star Game and helped the Braves deal with injuries to Kyle Wright and Max Fried.

But Elder posted a 5.11 ERA over 68 2/3 innings in 13 starts after the All-Star break, casting doubt on how he would be used in the postseason. He especially struggled in his last three appearances, giving up 13 earned runs, 19 hits and eight walks in 12 1/3 innings.

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Elder made two starts against the Phillies during the regular season. He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, on June 22. But he gave up four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings, with a season-high five walks, on Sept. 20.

The Braves also considered starting 20-year-old AJ Smith-Shawver, their top prospect but a rookie who has made only five starts and six appearances in the big leagues.

The best-of-five series was tied at one win apiece, with Games 3 and 4 in Philadelphia.


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